After the success of their first volume Ophélie Gaillard and Pulcinella propose a second disc devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach's most talented and surprising son, Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-1788). The Sinfonia in C major expresses multiple emotions, ranging from irrepressible suffering in the Adagio to joyous release and insouciance in the concluding Allegretto, tinged with near-Mozartian grace. The Cello Concerto in B flat reveals the influence of the waning Baroque era and Vivaldi in particular.
A portrait, on the tercentenary of the composer's birth, of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), probably the most gifted of the sons of Johann Sebastian Bach. Highly admired in his own century by Haydn, Gluck and Mozart, he stands out today as a brilliant and highly original composer. For CPE Bach, music had to be an expression of personal feelings and to achieve his aim, he revolutionised the established principles of form, harmony and rhythm. The Trio Sonata 'Sanguineus und Melancholicus' is a rarity in the composer's output in that it is a quasi-programmatic work. It presents a conversation between one sanguine (first violin) and the other melancholic (second violin). The same duality is found throughout the recordings presented here, from the well-known Sinfonia No. 5 to the two brilliant cello concertos. Under the bow of cellist Ophélie Gaillard, at the head of the Pulcinella Orchestra, these pieces come as a revelation!
Recorded in 1987, this disc by Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe and the choral-instrumental ensemble La Chapelle Royale came in advance of most of the historical-performance recordings that have delved deeply into Bach's cantatas and their world. It was, in fact, the first digital recording of the Trauerode, BWV 198. Despite some competition, this remains an exemplary Bach performance, and it was a superb candidate for reissue in Harmonia Mundi's HM Gold greatest-hits series.
According to German theological tradition, which Bach knew very well, the alto voice was the very symbol of the Holy Ghost. Bach's three solo cantatas for alto demand enormous vocal virtuosity. Their extraordinary musical variety embraces sublime consolatory lullabies, a faithful echo of an organ concerto and the dramatic qualities of an oratorio. Andreas Scholl is the featured soloist in this reissue, backed by Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent.